In what manifests the utterly vindictive and opportunistic character of the newly formed Maha Vikas Agadhi government, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar has termed the arrest of ‘activists’ (read Urban Maoists) in the Elgar Parishad case as “wrong” and “vengeful”. He has also demanded a Special Investigation Team under a retired judge to be set up to carry out a probe into the action taken by Pune Police in the case.
He has also gone on to demand suspension of the Pune Police officials involved in the arrest of the Elgar Parishad case accused. Trivialising the gravity of the case, Pawar said, “It is wrong to imprison the activists on the charge of sedition. Voicing extreme views is allowed in democracy. The action of Pune police is wrong and vengeful. It is a misuse of power by the police commissioner and some of the officers. They had attacked the basic freedom of people and one cannot be a mute spectator to all this.” He added, “We will demand the chief minister that an SIT headed by a retired judge be instituted to probe the police action.” He also said, “Facts should be verified. The role of the previous government and the investigation team was doubtful. The police officers concerned should be suspended and their action should be probed.”
While Pawar has downplayed the Elgar Parishad case, the fact remains that the Bhima Koregaon violence case (which followed the Elgar Parishad) had exposed the Urban Naxals active in the country and how the ideology of Naxalism was not restricted to just a few isolated pockets of the country. The Pune Police had filed a charge sheet, according to which the accused were directly involved with promoting the propaganda of the banned outfit- the Communist Party of India (Maoist), and were also trying to overthrow a democratic government.
In fact, Bhima Koregaon violence not just about nurturing caste prejudice and inciting group hated and violence.
The Pune Police had also revealed that some Maoist leaders were planning to assassinate PM Modi.
Pune Police stated, “Maoist leaders including…Rona Wilson and fugitive Kishan Da were conspiring the assassination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and waging war against the country for which they were planning to procure arms and ammunition.” The accused who were held over planning to assassinate PM Modi also included Sudhir Dhawale. The accused in this case were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The Elgaar Parishad case exposed the worst kind of urban Maoists, who are probably the most active and most insidious in terms of their plans, which allegedly included plans to assassinate PM Modi and to dislodge a democratically elected government.
Pawar has taken political vengeance to another level by belittling the issue and trivialising a plot to assassinate PM Modi.
Contrary to what Pawar is claiming the Elgar Parishad case has got nothing to do with dissent or “voicing extreme views in a democracy”. Planning and plotting the assassination the Prime Minister of the country not only amounts to a sinister and punishable conspiracy, but also tantamounts to waging war against the country, which no country governed by rule of law can possibly tolerate. The Pune Police has made remarkable progress in this case and seems to be taking the issue towards a reasonable conclusion. However, NCP is trying to further its agenda which might not only do all the good work done by the police to dust, but could also potentially create a major security threat for the state of Maharashtra. The Elgar Parishad accused are clearly a security threat but the NCP looks at them as a political asset, and if Pawar has his way on this issue, then Maharashtra is likely to end up in a very awkward position.